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Dell Gives Android the Boot, Boots Up More Windows 8 408

Posted by timothy
from the thinking-different dept.
hugheseyau writes "Dell vice chairman Jeff Clarke made a less than shocking announcement at this year's Dell World Conference in Austin. The company is officially giving up on Android phones and tablets. ... So if Dell is giving up on Android, what comes next? The company claims it's doubling down on Windows 8, and the enterprise market."
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Dell Gives Android the Boot, Boots Up More Windows 8

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  • good luck with that (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:24PM (#42310751)

    Windows 8 and Server 2012 are far from "enterprise" they are basically toys. And don't even get me started on RT, RT is a hunk of junk, you'd think its a Microsoft product so you can at least join it to your Microsoft Active Directory domain to help centrally manage at some basic level, I won't even go so far as to ask for a little Group Policy.

    • by dagamer34 (1012833) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:30PM (#42310811)
      Uhh.. the reason those features don't exist is to clearly push those kinds of customers towards Windows 8 Pro. It's the same reason why Office RT doesn't have Outlook. Microsoft doesn't want Windows RT to be used in enterprise and there are plenty of clues as to why not.
      • by TWX (665546)
        I once managed to get Windows NT Small Business Server to function as a backup domain controller, so I'd bet that there are ways of making RT do things that have been disabled in it... *grin*
      • Microsoft doesn't want Windows RT to be used in enterprise and there are plenty of clues as to why not.

        I wouldn't think that getting people to not use it would be a problem... Or a goal, for that matter...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by aztracker1 (702135)
        I actually had really high, well higher hopes, for WinRT... The consistency of windows APIs without all the debt... .Net code pretty much just works (at least the backend code)... Honestly, I was kind of hoping to see some 32-64 core ARM based systems for servers, running a lighter version of windows, for web servers... Actually, not all that tied to Windows. Working on migrating portions of the site at work to using MongoDB + Node.js as an API backend server... that can run on just about anything.. for n
      • by symbolset (646467) * on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:39AM (#42311519) Journal
        What's not to like? Facebook and Twitter integration for your Primary Domain Controller and Exchange Server is the next evolution of social networking. Your PDC can tweet for help when it suffers a drive failure. Your Exchange Server can post a message on your timeline about your technical incompetence. Smells like progress to me.
    • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:53PM (#42310967)

      Windows 8 and Server 2012 are far from "enterprise" they are basically toys.

      Agreed. It seems the purpose of Windows 8 is to provide a consumer-oriented environment conducive to buying content such as music, movies, books, etc like on the iPad and other tablets and smartphones. To date, the only things I've seen people doing with Windows 8 systems in commercials is playing movies, games, finger painting, Skype, "clicking, clicking, clicking," sliding and (often angry) dancing. No one's using the thing for any actual work...

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:28AM (#42311167)

        To date, the only things I've seen people doing with Windows 8 systems in commercials is playing movies, games, finger painting, Skype, "clicking, clicking, clicking," sliding and (often angry) dancing. No one's using the thing for any actual work...

        Well, sure... in commercials. But in the real world no one's using the thing at all.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:17AM (#42311403)

        Yes, because a commercial that shows a tired sysadmin plugging away at powershell is sure to sell copies of Win8!

        "OH SHIT SON! That series of piped commands to remove a set of Hyper-V VM network adapters is OFF THE CHAIN!" "Look at these sexy parameters to AD powershell scripts, these guys are able to dance AND admin their azure subscriptions at the SAME TIME!"

    • by smash (1351) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:37AM (#42311219) Homepage Journal
      You have actually worked in the real world, yes? Windows servers are far from toys and are in use in plenty of enterprises the world over.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by epyT-R (613989)

        A bit fallacious no? Corporate officers are hardly objective when it comes to choosing IT infrastructure, esp when they have no knowledge of it beyond advertising, slick presentations, and from watching hollywood movies as children.

        Anyway, windows' ubiquity might also be a factor in why remote intrusions are so commonplace.

        • by crutchy (1949900)
          one reason and one reason only... nobody ever got fired for buying microsoft products
        • by gutnor (872759) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:27AM (#42312941)

          they have no knowledge of it beyond advertising, slick presentations, and from watching hollywood movies as children

          Big companies have actual requirements and actual businesses to run. If they still run Windows Servers a decade after they first "drank the kool-aid", that means that somehow, Windows is delivering.

          Stop with this tiring /. attitude. Not everybody that chose to run a windows server is an incompetent graduate with PHB bosses.

        • by smash (1351) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:51AM (#42313395) Homepage Journal

          We run operating systems for one reason: application delivery. Windows is where the industry specific applications are, so that is what the client machines run.

          To administer the clients, it is a lot easier to do so with Windows servers.

          Do i run windows servers facing the internet? Fuck no. They are well protected by hardware firewalls, mail, etc. comes through FreeBSD. But Windows has its uses.

          I'm a big fan of heterogeneous networks. Use the most appropriate platform for the service you are attempting to deliver. Any mainstream OS these days can be secured "well enough" with minimal effort if you know shit from clay.

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        They are actually a bit like marbles, actually. They're so simple a 12 year old could figure them out, they're always falling down and rolling all over the place, and are kept in a sturdy collection bag. To effectively use them, some Jack comes along and tries to knock them out of the circle; wash, rinse and repeat.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @06:49AM (#42312601)

        Yep we run couple hundred windows servers. They require 24x7 baby-sitting. And weekly scheduled reboots lest they run out of juice. We also run about a hundred Linux servers, which barely require any attention, with uptimes of over 800 days.

        • by cornjones (33009) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:39AM (#42312993) Homepage

          I used to be proud of over 1 year uptimes until i realized 2 things:
          1. you aren't patching enough
          2. when the reboot happens and it turns out your initialization script for one of your servers wasn't tested thoughly enough (b/c you never rebooted) you have a big problem. having configured it 6 months ago (timeline from when I learned my lesson) and half remembering which configs are which is going to lead to more downtime. You should really reboot after major (re)configurations to make sure your server comes back into the fold effectively... obviously, this should be during a controlled maintenance window but preventative maintenance still counts as maintenance

        • by kiwimate (458274) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:22PM (#42314643) Journal

          Yep we run couple hundred windows servers. They require 24x7 baby-sitting. And weekly scheduled reboots lest they run out of juice.

          Then your Windows admins don't know what they're doing. If you're not exaggerating - if it truly is the norm for your Windows servers to require perpetual baby-sitting and to be rebooted regularly - I suggest you call in Microsoft for a health check. Depending on your level of agreement, it may be free; if it isn't, the recovered time in man hours will more than make up for it. If you're not exaggerating.

          Source: I have been team lead/lead consultant for companies that run hundreds or thousands of Windows servers in 24x7x365 environments. There is simply no excuse in 2012 for weekly rebooting to be the accepted norm.

          Yes, it was more common back in the late 90s. But today? No excuse, and I am serious in my suggestion that you call in MS for a health check. It's in their best interest to help you fix whatever shambles is present in your environment that necessitates this.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:25PM (#42310771)
    Customers disappearing? It's time to turn back the clock and go back to what made your name in the first place. If you're a restaurant, it's a great idea. If you're a technology company, it's suicide. Bye Dell, it was nice while you lasted!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by elashish14 (1302231)

      Hey, at least they're not going the way of SCO, Nokia, Ericsson, and dare I say it, Apple by just suing people left and right as they slowly cease to produce anything of value in their industry. They're still trying to innovate their way out of their troubles. They should be given a medal, not under normal circumstances, but when you compare to their corporate peers...

      • by aliquis (678370)

        Nokia, Ericsson, and dare I say it, Apple

        snip

        cease to produce anything of value in their industry

        Bullshit. In the case of Apple sure it's often software and may be more or less easy to come up with but obviously it "got value" for the industry even in that case. Both for Apple and for the opponents.

        Nokia and Ericsson likely still come up with new things and have made innovated others with research done from their own pockets so nothing weird with that (though you could argue they did that to earn money back then selling their products and already have. But obviously it cost more to do research than

  • Will Dell go the way Noika has? Time will tell.

    As I've said for years, friends (family) doesn't let friends (family) buy Dell.

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Except dell is migrating into an enterprise solutions business. Their consumer product business is somewhat secondary to their business software.

      • Except dell is migrating into an enterprise solutions business. Their consumer product business is somewhat secondary to their business software.

        Good move since the major enterprise players are going bespoke and whitebox. http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/11/amazon-google-secret-servers/ [wired.com] Ooops...

        • by HCase (533294)

          Those are a couple major players, but they are both top tier tech firms with far from normal data requirements and huge engineering departments. They are outliers when it comes to enterprise sales and shouldn't be used to gauge the market.

          • Sorry... All of my clients that are doing this do not have a news article. I think the market is just starting to go that way... Call them the canaries in the coal mine.
        • Good move since the major enterprise players are going bespoke and whitebox.

          Well, the article you point to says Amazon and Google are going that way, but there's enough -- including government -- that aren't that there is plenty of market for enterprise solutions, especially given the small number of players in the market (Amazon and, especially, Google are arguably more competitors in that market than they are the target customers.)

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        I had this talk with the HP guy as they were moving into services. "We don't make ANY money moving your hardware. We keep the lights on with services margin. Now that you're looking to take our bread and butter, why go with you rather than some other who still lets us stay in business?" Was crickets with the HP guy, and crickets with Dell too.
    • They make some excellent monitors (the IPS panels in particular) and I have a 2yo Vostro14" that I got for a good price and is still going strong.

    • by Hadlock (143607) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:36AM (#42311209) Homepage Journal

      Nokia had a hostile takeover by Microsoft, I think Dell's case is that they completely failed to enter the Android market with any sort of innovative or well marketed product. Nokia was doing just fine until they burnt their non-windows phone product lines to the ground.

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:26PM (#42310781) Journal
    I hope not, it looks pretty good. [dell.com]
    • Android != Linux (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:52PM (#42310955)

      Supporting Linux *is* supporting the enterprise market. No way Dell is backing off that.

      I think they may be backing of Android partly as a response to Google announcing they are dropping Exchange integration. Though that could be a coincidence.

      • Re:Android != Linux (Score:4, Interesting)

        by whoever57 (658626) on Monday December 17, 2012 @07:00AM (#42312655) Journal
        One could see the dropping of Exchange support a a massive show of Google's power. Microsoft's monopoly has been driven by the Outlook/Exchange combo, with other clients frozen out by poor support. Now, Google is saying: Exchange doesn't matter. Open standards work and allow Exchange and Outlook to be replaced, both individually and collectively.
    • by PPH (736903)
      Dell will just rename it Kwangmyongsong.
  • And why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:33PM (#42310821)

    So why dump Android? According to Clarke, “It’s a content play with Android”. “Amazon is selling books and Google is making it up with search.

    So, basically, there was competent competition, and Dell's me-toosim wasn't cutting it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:33PM (#42310823)

    Dell made an Android tablet, known as the Dell Streak, it was not a success. Expensive, crap screen, underpowered, cheapy feeling.

    So now they're switching to Windows 8, with their expensive underpowered crap screens, cheap feeling tablets, THEY'RE SURE TO BE HUGELY SUCCESSFUL!!!

    Methinks they're not fixing the real problem. Android sell in bucket loads and if they couldn't sell a tablet with it, then they needed to refine their tablet designs till they did sell. Change Android for Windows 8, doesn't fix their problems, it just adds another one: no touch apps.

    • by fermion (181285) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:42PM (#42310887) Homepage Journal
      And for those who did not notice, Dell exists only because MS has made it so. Dell cow tows to the shrine of MS, keeps it own margins and quality low so that MS can rake in the cash, while assuming the risk of inventory so that MS does not have to.

      Is anyone surprised that Dell is jumping on the MS Surface bandwagon.

      • by Genda (560240) <mariet@go[ ]et ['t.n' in gap]> on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:50AM (#42311283) Journal

        Actually I'm guessing someone on the M$ board called up someone on the Dell board and informed them they're now going to now assume the position or pay the price, and keep paying. Dell blinked and now to paraphrase Lewis Black, they had to put on a dress, lipstick, a little eye shadow, some glitter and now they're giving sailors blow jobs. And that... is the future of Dell.

        • Windows 8 demand on touch is so high OEMs can not meet it!

          We bash it on slashdot, but consumers will refuse to touch Windows 8 on a non touch screen device and it makes sense to go all tiny screen and touch as this is where the market is heading and what the OS is optimized for touch over mouse on purpose [neowin.net]

      • by symbolset (646467) *

        Microsoft ensures a competitive ecosystem by favoring a few, and disfavoring the top. In this way they preserve a competitive ecosystem determined to cut each other out of profit. This is how Microsoft and Intel get the lion's share of PC profits, by playing one against the other. No one could become powerful enough to be bold.

        This worked until Apple and Google ripped the entire carpet out from under them.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:56AM (#42311601) Journal

      Well, their XPS 12 looks like a decent enough device. Who knows, maybe they can actually make good things that aren't really tablets (but rather convertible notebooks etc)?

  • by acoustix (123925) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:38PM (#42310857) Homepage

    It's all going BYOD. As much as I hate it, its all going BYOD. Bad move, Dell.

    Even RIM, which is based on the enterprise, is changing.

    • Not yet. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Andy Prough (2730467) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:03AM (#42311027)
      Touchscreen-enabled Chromebooks [forbes.com] could change all that in 2013 though.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:20AM (#42311123) Homepage

      It's all going BYOD. As much as I hate it, its all going BYOD. Bad move, Dell.

      I really doubt that, a few high-profile incidents where BYOD caused big losses and that idea will die a quick death, not that it was ever alive in many lines of business. The better question is what's the difference between a consumer and enterprise computers, except software? Nothing. My employer-issued smart phone is a regular Android phone, they've just set it up with policies like wiping itself if you enter the PIN incorrectly a few times. There's also a use agreement which says I can't let anyone else gain knowledge of the PIN or operate it - no letting your kids play on it folks - and I'm bearing the full risk of what any non-IT approved application could do to their data. It's a pretty safe bet I won't be installing any.

      I'll be a cold day in hell before they go BYOD on terms that I could accept as well, doesn't even matter if we both pick the same model I'm going to have mine and theirs. But it's a pretty good chance that theirs is going to be a consumer model that I pick. I've heard much the same story with tablets, people like and want to use it but when it comes to putting business critical data on it the requirements often crash and they start looking at corporate issued tablets instead. There'll be less "You can have any color phone you want, as long as it's black" standard issue but it's always going to be trouble for one piece of hardware to have two masters.

      • The better question is what's the difference between a consumer and enterprise computers, except software? Nothing. My employer-issued smart phone is a regular Android phone, they've just set it up with policies like wiping itself if you enter the PIN incorrectly a few times. There's also a use agreement which says I can't let anyone else gain knowledge of the PIN or operate it - no letting your kids play on it folks - and I'm bearing the full risk of what any non-IT approved application could do to their data. It's a pretty safe bet I won't be installing any.

        Actually, most smart phones are handled like enterprise models of computer systems, where the model doesn't change during its life cycle. If you buy a Galaxy III when it first came out or a year later, it is still the same hardware. Likewise, with business or enterprise computers, the manufacturer normally guarantees that each model off the line has the same hardware and component specs. On the other hand, consumer grade computers, even if they are the same model number very often have different component

  • by Beer_Smurf (700116) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:40PM (#42310865) Homepage
    "What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders,"
    Michael Dell
    • "What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders,"
        Michael Dell

      Should take his own advice, HA HA HA.

  • by hobarrera (2008506) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:40PM (#42310873) Homepage

    To me, the news is that Dell made phones/tablets. I'd never heard of them before, nor have I ever seen any.
    Am I the only one here?

    • I think I saw an ad for one once in one of those Southwest Airlines in-flight magazines. Certainly not Dell's bread-and-butter business though.
    • Got a chance to play with the Dell Streak 7 for about an hour. It was a POS. Poor resolution. Poor speed. The list continues on and on and on. Since Dell has moved their manufacturing out of the nation, they have produced nothing but junk. And switching the OS to windows 8 will NOT help that trash heap. In fact, from what I have seen of win 8, things will be even slower.
      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        "..Poor resolution. Poor speed. The list continues..."

            Well now you can add Poor OS.

  • by TWX (665546) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:48PM (#42310925)

    The company claims its doubling down on Windows 8

    Last time I checked, gambling behavior as a primary hobby or profession wasn't considered respectable or responsible, it was considered borderline sociopathic.

    If I were a stockholder I'd be worried. Technology these days seems to be about a combination of giving people what they want and convincing people of what they want. Android, to an extent, is giving people what they want, as Android is popular with users as well as with OEMs. Windows 8, by and large, does not appear to be popular, either in portable devices or on the desktop.

    So, Dell is now moving to a system of neither giving people what they want, nor convincing people of what they want.

    I don't think that Dell is in any danger of going Chapter 7. Where I work buys Dell just about exclusively, in a 30,000 desktop environment. The paltry sales Apple or other OEMs get is almost not worth mentioning. But, their extra markets, like phones, tablets, and other consumer devices will probably die.

    I had actually wanted a Dell phone back in the day, but they weren't compatible with my cell provider. Otherwise they had the features I wanted. Pity that...

    • If I were a stockholder I'd be worried. Technology these days seems to be about a combination of giving people what they want and convincing people of what they want.

      Interesting point. Back in 90s and 00s, the field was advancing at the rate that the technology improved. These days, the technical power of the devices we buy have pretty much surpassed average users' needs. Then came the ultrabook fad, which introduced new, lighter form-features and longer battery life. At this point, outside of increasing battery life and perhaps introducing more asinine screen resolutions, there isn't much more innovation to be done, and ultimately, it'll just come down to whatever catc

  • No help (Score:5, Interesting)

    by giveen1 (2727899) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:49PM (#42310929)
    As the only Dell Streak 7 Android developer left, it doesn't surprise me that Dell has abandoned Android. I've spent over a year trying to get them to comply with the GPL and give me the last source code for their last kernel update. Every request I have put forth has been turned down or rejected. I still try my best to keep this tablet up to date with ICS and JB, but I can only do so much without more support.
    • Just finished updating my Streak5 ... great devices, too bad they thought a custom interface was the way to go.

  • by millertym (1946872) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:51PM (#42310945)
    A strategy focusing on Windows 8 may work. A strategy focusing on enterprise business may work. A strategy focusing on windows 8 as enterprise software is doomed to failure. No company I know of is planning to use Windows 8 on their desk terminals. Ever. It's Windows Vista all over again for business use. That being said, I've heard some good out of touch devices and Windows 8. That is where their focus with windows 8 needs to be, or they are going to continue to tank.
  • by Genda (560240) <mariet@go[ ]et ['t.n' in gap]> on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:32AM (#42311189) Journal

    Dell walks into a cheese shop, looks around poking and sniffing and suddenly a clerk (who looks vaguely like John Cleese) pops up from behind the counter!

    Clerk: May I help you, Sir?

    Dell: Why yes, I'd like some cheese!

    Clerk: We have a lovely Apple Brie here, smooth, creamy, the customers can't seem to get enough?...

    Dell: Arrghhh, No, Thank you.

    Clerk: Perhaps a nice sharp Android Cheddar? Its full bodied, not as smooth as the Brie, but technically fuller?...

    Dell: No, I don't want any lousy Android.

    Clerk: Well then Sir, what did you have in mind?...

    Dell: I'd like a great big fat slab of the Microsoft Limburger!!!

    Clerk: Sir, I haven't sold any Microsoft in a fortnight, are you sure you wouldn't want something a wee bit fresher?

    Dell: No, My minds made up, I want the Microsoft, and bowl of raw garlic cloves and I'll eat it here!

    Clerk: Are you daft! You're going to die of indigestion and your head'll explode! Then I'll have to call a hazardous waste team to have you remains removed from the premises!

    Dell: What could go wrong? As long as I finish off with a Wafer Thin Mint, I'll be fine, by the way, have you ever sold parrots?

  • In other words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:50AM (#42311285)

    In other words, Microsoft made Dell another offer they couldn't refuse by not shipping other operating systems. It's not the first time, but with the public's acceptance of Windows 8, it could be the last.

  • Dell's market (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Posting as AC because I used to work for them...

    I remember being on a conference call and someone asked why Dell didn't focus more on the consumer market, in light of the success of the iPhone, etc. It was clear to me from the answer that Dell doesn't take the consumer market that seriously. They see the enterprise market as being much larger and more lucrative, much like Microsoft does. So Dell will always have a presence in the consumer market, just to say that it has some offerings, but they have no inte

  • by devleopard (317515) on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:31AM (#42311719) Homepage

    Keep in mind that Dell is one of the few "mainstream" PC manufacturers that will sell you a top-line laptop with a Linux distro preinstalled and supported:
    http://www.dell.com/us/soho/p/xps-13-linux/pd.aspx [dell.com]

    So why stop selling Android devices (most popular mobile OS) and move to a platform that many don't think will go anywhere? Dell isn't known for Android; they're a trusted name in Windows machines. I've never seen a Dell Android phone or tablet in the wild. There's a good reason for that. Personally I think their Windows 8 devices will flop too, but they'll probably sell more of them than they do Android devices.

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